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Norton 20-home plan could still go ahead if appeal is successful




A controversial 20 home development could still be built next to a single lane track in Norton, if a planning appeal is successful.

Last October, Mid Suffolk District Council rejected a developer's plan to build on land next to the narrow Hawes Lane due to the potential for ‘conflict between cars’.

Planning agent Phil Cobbold, acting on behalf of developer Ash Property, said this claim was 'not supported by evidence' and last month submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspector.

Norton residents are objecting to proposals to build 20 homes next to Hawes Lane in Norton. It's a single track road and may struggle to take any more traffic
Norton residents are objecting to proposals to build 20 homes next to Hawes Lane in Norton. It's a single track road and may struggle to take any more traffic

Andy Sedgwick, who lives in Heath Road - which neighbours Hawes Lane, said he is wary the higher authority could base their decision on a Suffolk Highways report - which did not object to the proposal.

“It is the tightest of roads and there is nowhere for cars to go,” said Mr Sedgwick, 55, a retired policeman.

“It is a stretch of at least 400m, where you drive along the grass is touching the sides of the car. I do not know how on earth this could be deemed fit to be a road capable of providing access. There are lots of factors that could create hazards for pedestrians.

“I am concerned about what is going on behind the scenes.”

Mr Sedgwick, who has lived in the area for four years, said there is no passing place along the stretch. If two vehicles meet at one extreme end, it could mean one has to reverse out onto Norton Road, where a national speed limit applies. A revised planning application submitted did include plans for ‘construction of vehicular access’ but it did not pass Mid Suffolk’s requirements.

Councillor Sarah Mansel fears pressure to build homes and the green light from Suffolk Highways could sway the Planning Inspector to build next to Hawes Lane.
Councillor Sarah Mansel fears pressure to build homes and the green light from Suffolk Highways could sway the Planning Inspector to build next to Hawes Lane.

Councillor Sarah Mansel, Green Party member for Elmswell and Woolpit, was in the majority to vote against plans, despite feeling more homes could benefit Norton - and said 20 homes was not substantial.

She said: "Hawes Lane is a tiny road and there is not suitable access for development.

"I would hope the Planning Inspector actually comes and looks at the site before making a decision on this."

The Planning Inspector is likely to return a verdict later this year.


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